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now that the colder weather is here, at cold start, the steering wheel is hard to turn, and loosens up after the car is driven several miles. the car at cold start also makes a sort of grounding out type of noise, indrive, absent in neutral, and less in reverse. it is still rough in drive after driven a few miles, but the noise disappears. my mechanic says i need engine and transmission mounts. any ideas?
 

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sounds like a power steering pump to me. As the fluid gets warmer it thins out thus creating less resistance on the hydralic system making the steering less of an effort to move.
 

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I'd change the power steering fluid first.

I had an 88 Mustang with a similar problem. Steering was stiff and it would not return to the center as well as I thought it should.

Ball joints were dry and rusted. New ones solved the problem.
 
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